University of West Georgia student Aimee Copeland (Source: Guangzhoudaily)
An American woman fighting a flesh-eating disease caused by group A streptococcus is now able to breathe on her own with the help of an oxygen mask and a tracheostomy, media reports said Tuesday.
University of West Georgia student Aimee Copeland fighting flesh-eating bacteria lost both hands and her lower leg. And doctors have said her other foot will need amputation as well.
Copeland's father said her hands were amputated Thursday because they'd turned into purple "poison bags."
Copeland developed a rare condition, necrotizing fasciitis, after cutting her leg in a May 1 fall from a homemade zip line over a river.
Copeland’s not the only one battling the bacterial infection.
A 36-year-old new mother, Lana Kuykendall, underwent a series of operations to remove dead or damaged tissue, just days after giving birth to twins on May 7 in Atlanta. She remains in critical condition in Greenville, South Carolina.
In addition, a landscaper Bobby Vaughn is recovering from five surgeries to treat flesh-eating bacteria that attacked his groin in Atlanta. He's being treated at Doctor's Hospital in Augusta , GA-- the same facility where Copeland is recovering.
Experts estimate there are several hundred cases in the U.S. each year, with about one in four being fatal.